State IT Innovation of the Year
California’s Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission integrated and analyzed arrest and mental health data validating that intense mental health programs significantly reduce arrests among those with severe mental illness, especially among those with previous brushes with the law. Mental health program participants saw a 47% reduction in arrests, and among clients who had previous high criminal justice involvement, there was a 69% reduction. This has significant implications for states seeking alternatives to the cycle of arrest and incarceration and for citizens struggling with mental health issues. It also shows the power of analytics to validate program effectiveness.